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Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich

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Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #200 on: Mar 20, 2016, 04:20:48 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/24/if-you-dont-understand-poverty-youre-a-sociopath

If you don’t understand how people fall into poverty, you’re probably a sociopath

Lucy Mangan
The Guardian
January 24, 2015

Last week, I took part in a comedy night to raise money for the charity Refuge, which supports women and children who have experienced domestic violence. It was a great night: partly because it raised several thousands of pounds for the cause; partly because it was sponsored by Benefit cosmetics, and the idea of a benefit being sponsored by Benefit pleased me greatly; and partly because standup comedian Bridget Christie finished her act with a plea for all laydeez to stop waxing, spraying, deodorising, strimming and surgically trimming their – well, let’s call it “that part of ourselves historically judged to be the seat of all our femininity and womanly powers” – and instead celebrate our individuality by thinking of those parts as “unique, special – like snowflakes. Made of gammon”, which was both a new thought and a new image, neither of which has left my mind since.

Less uplifting, however, was the number of times I heard, when I mentioned Refuge to people, some variant of: “But what I don’t understand is – why don’t these women just leave?”

We don’t need, I think – I hope – to detail too extensively here the exact answer to that question. Bullet points: an immediate fear of being punched, kicked, bitten, gouged or killed, and of the same happening to your children, preceded by months or years of exploitation of the weakest points in your psyche by a master of the art; an erosion of your self-confidence, liberty, agency and financial independence (if you had any to begin with), coupled with a sense of shame and stigma and a lack of practical options; no money, no supportive family or friends, nowhere to run.

So, let’s concentrate instead on the lack of imagination, the lack of empathy inherent in that question. Because it shapes a lot of questions, and particularly those that animate government policy and the political discourse that will start filling the airwaves more and more as we move towards the election.

Politicians, for example, are apparently completely baffled by Poor People’s propensity to do harmful things, often expensively, to themselves. (That’s politicians of all stripes – it’s just that the left wing wrings its hands and feels helplessly sorry for Them, while Tories are pretty sure They are just animals in need of better training.) The underclass eats fast food, drinks and smokes, and some of its more unruly members even take drugs. Why? Why?

Listen, I always want to say, if you’re genuinely mystified, answer me this: have you never had a really bad day and really wanted – nay, needed – an extra glass of Montrachet on the roof terrace in the evening? Or such a chaotic, miserable week that you’ve ended up with a takeaway five nights out of seven instead of delving into Nigella’s latest?

You have? Why, splendid. Now imagine if your whole life were not just like that one bad day, but even worse. All the time. No let-up. No end in sight. No, you can’t go on holiday. No, you can’t cash anything in and retire. No. How would you react? No, you’ve not got a marketable skills set. You don’t know anyone who can give you a job. No. No.

And on we’d go. “Why do the poor not always take the very cheapest option – in food, travel, rent, utilities or a hundred other things you can find if you or an obliging Spad or unpaid intern trawl and filter case studies for long enough – and stop being so, y’know, poor that way?” someone will ask. And some kind soul – not me, I’d be off for a lie down and some pills by this time – would ask if the questioner had ever been under so much pressure that he’d had to throw money at a problem to secure an immediate answer, to get something rather than nothing, even if it meant paying over the odds, perhaps because someone was exploiting your desperation?

Oh, you have? Well, that bond issue you missed because you had a cashflow crisis after buying the villa in Amalfi, and that box at Glyndebourne for your parents’ wedding anniversary you forgot about till almost too late, have their parallels with furniture for a council flat or with a child’s present bought on punitively interest-rated credit … and so on, until somewhere along the line our boy would have to admit that he shared the same irrational impulses as people all along the socioeconomic scale, differing only in degree of consequences, not in kind.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #201 on: Mar 20, 2016, 04:24:01 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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I'm curious to know what the Austrian School's assessment is of Kevin O'Leary's heart-warming remarks in the following youtube clip:

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuqemytQ5QA

Do they automatically regard anyone who disagrees with him of being a freedom-hating "collectivist"?

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #202 on: Mar 20, 2016, 04:28:04 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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As the economy goes, so goes everything else. That's why it's in the self-interest even of those who have a sociopathic indifference towards -- if not outright disdain for -- the poor and destitute among us to politically resist imposing brutal, IMF riot-provoking austerity measures on those least able to defend themselves in the midst of a banker-engineered depression.

"When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it". -- Gerald Celente

http://www.alternet.org/economy/5-ways-its-become-crime-be-poor-america-punishable-further-impoverishment

5 Ways It's Become a Crime to Be Poor in America, Punishable by Further Impoverishment

New report details perverse policies that are driving more people into hopeless, inescapable poverty.

By Terrell Jermaine Starr
AlterNet
April 22, 2015


Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

The criminalization of America’s poor has been quietly gaining steam for years, but a recent study, “The Poor Get Prison,” co-authored by Karen Dolan and Jodi L. Carr, reveals the startling extent to which American municipalities are fining and jailing the country’s most vulnerable people, not just punishing them for being poor, but driving them deeper into poverty.

“In the last ten years,” Barbara Ehrenreich writes in the introduction, “it has become apparent that being poor is in itself a crime in many cities and counties, and that it is a crime punished by further impoverishment.”

A few months ago, the Department of Justice’s Ferguson report revealed how that city has disproportionately targeted its majority minority population with traffic and other minor infractions that heavily support the municipality's coffers. But Ferguson is far from alone. Municipalities like New York City have greatly increased the number of minor offenses that are considered criminal (like putting your feet up in the subway) or sitting on the sidewalk. Wealthy white people in business attire are rarely targeted for such summonses, and if they are, they can quickly pay the fine or hire counsel to get out of it. The over-punishment of minor offenses is just another way the rich get richer, and as the report says, the “poor get prison.” They also get poorer and more numerous. In one striking statistic, the Southern Educational Foundation reports that 51 percent of America’s public schoolchildren are living in poverty.

Perversely, it is the poor who, according to Dolan and Carr, are subsidizing municipalities’ budgets and becoming reliable sources of enrichment for the private companies contracted by local governments to carry out what used to be government duties.

Here are five troubling trends from the report that show us how the government is financially abusing poor people.

[Continued...]

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Instead of making the poor pay for the crimes of the ruling-class parasites who created this economic crisis in the first place, focus on exerting year-round pressure on Congress to implement urgently-needed public policy reforms (i.e. the NEED Act, Henry George's Single Tax, etc.).

But to do that effectively it will be necessary to spend less time being pom pom-waving cheerleaders for this or that political candidate. Personality cultism is what got us into this mess. More of the same won't get us out of it.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #203 on: Mar 20, 2016, 04:32:32 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://wonkette.com/584739/wisconsin-takes-lead-in-fck-the-poors-sweepstakes-now-you-cant-buy-beans-and-rice

Wisconsin Takes Lead In F*ck The Poor Sweepstakes: Now You Can’t Buy Beans And Rice

by Kaili Joy Gray
Wonkette
May 05, 2015



Wisconsin is one of those states that really hates poor people. (Yeah, we know. Just like the other 49.) The state’s Republicans are particularly obsessed with what poors eat, or don’t eat, or where they buy food to eat, or whether they’re really poor enough to deserve to eat, or how best to humiliate them for wanting to eat. So in addition to separate but “equal” grocery stores, drug-testing welfare recipients, and spying on your neighbors’ grocery carts to make sure they’re not using YOUR tax dollars to buy unnecessary luxuries like food, Wisconsin Republicans have some more terrific ideas they’re kicking around in Assembly Bill 177 to crack down on so-called “low-income individuals” and their fraudulent eating habits:
    The department {of Health Services} shall publish on the department’s Internet site a current list of the foods for which a recipient must use at least 67 percent of the benefits amount that the recipient uses in a month. The department shall prohibit the use of benefits to purchase crab, lobster, shrimp, or any other shellfish.
It’s not as if we haven’t heard conservatives complain, many times, about how people who receive government assistance shouldn’t be allowed to dine on lobster — and by government assistance, they don’t mean tax cuts for the rich. Rich people can spend their money on whatever they want because they made it themselves, without any help from anyone at all, and no one in their entire family tree ever received Social Security benefits or Medicare or a public school education, so if poor people want to eat lobster too, they should choose to bootstrap their way to wealth, like Mitt Romney, for example, with nothing but his father’s stock portfolio to get him started.

However, that’s quite different from participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or FoodShare, as it’s called in Wisconsin. Those people, who are probably just faking their low incomes anyway, or wasting all their benefits on drugs, need to be carefully monitored and told exactly what they may and may not eat. The Wisconsin Women, Infants & Children Nutrition Program has a handy brochure of permitted and prohibited foods. Let’s take a look!

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #204 on: Mar 20, 2016, 04:34:13 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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How many people are so blinded by ideology that they actually believe the primary (if not sole) reason the world's richest 80 people own the same amount as the world's bottom 50% is that they "produced" the same amount?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/worlds-richest-eighty-people-own-the-same-amount-as-worlds-bottom-fifty-percent/5448287

World’s Richest Eighty People Own the same Amount as World’s Bottom Fifty Percent

By Eric Zuesse
Global Research
May 09, 2015



Oxfam’s recent report, “WEALTH: HAVING IT ALL AND WANTING MORE” contains shocking figures that the press haven’t sufficiently publicized; so, the findings and the reliability of their sources will be discussed here. The results will then be related to the central political debate now going on in the U.S. Presidential contests for 2016, which is about equality and inequality.

First, the findings:

1. The richest 80 individuals own as much as do all of the poorest half of humanity.
2. During 2009-2014, the wealth of the 80 richest people doubled, yet the wealth of the bottom 50% declined slightly.

Now, the sources:

These data are calculated from Forbes magazine, regarding the world’s richest individuals, and from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2014, regarding the global wealth-distribution.

The source on the richest 80:

The Forbes list is one of two such lists, the other being Bloomberg. The two are generally in rather close agreement, but sometimes disagree enormously. For example, as of 8 May 2015, Forbes shows Sweden’s Ingvar Kamprad, the owner of Ikea, as #8 owning $43.1B, but Bloomberg shows him as #497 owning $3.5B.

Futhermore,

[Continued...]

---------------------------------------------

^^ And if you complain about this, you're immediately accused of "class envy."

And if you propose actually doing something about it by eliminating (in the manner proposed by Henry George) the two key privileges that gave rise to this ridiculously unjust state of affairs in the first place, you're immediately accused of "class warfare."

     http://www.monetary.org/review-of-robert-de-fremerys-rights-vs-privileges/2010/12

Of course, the establishment Left is just as bad as the establishment Right, just for different reasons. The latter advocates imposing brutal austerity measures on those least able to defend themselves economically in the name of "liberty," while the former does so in the name of saving the earth from plant food (i.e. CO2).

And that, as always, is why I'm equally disgusted with both groups.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #205 on: Mar 20, 2016, 04:35:10 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

 

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